Tag Archives: last

The Last(PS3 Game) of Us

10 Feb


It’s not surprising that the team at Naughty Dog, the people responsible for the beloved Uncharted series, to pull off a game that not only keeps the player engaged with great gameplay but also legitimize story in games. In games it’s rare to come across a good story since it’s just a framing device to get the players in the game that you don’t mind sitting through but it’s different in the case of The Last of Us. At face value TLOU may look like your typical, generic zombie shooter, but it looks can be deceiving as it’s played.

In TLOU you play as Joel (Troy Baker), a middle aged man who, after 20 years of surviving the disaster of the cordyceps virus that creates the zombie-like hordes, must escort a young orphan girl Ellie (Ashley Johnson), who was born and raised in the new desolate world, to a group of mercenaries in order to get a weapons cache. The pathway there is rife with zombies and the occasional group of “sane” survivors who will shoot first and ask questions later.

Speaking of the zombies, they come in three flavors: Runners, which are basically feral humans in the first stage of the virus; Clickers, who are the iconic cauliflower, faced biters that cannot be engaged physically; and finally the Bloaters that throw fungus bombs with pinpoint accuracy and God help you if it gets a hold of you.

The gameplay is probably the best thing about the game as you have to make do with what you find in a wonderfully realized scavenger system. Everything you use from health items made of rags and alcohol to more Macguyver-esque smoke bombs made of fire crackers and sugar is crafted in real time. As for the firearms you use, it’s all up to what particular ammunition you can find and you’ll want to horde every bullet and only use it in last resort scenarios.

The reason for this being that the shooting is less arcade and more simulator, with aiming being more realistic, jostling with natural movement and the fact that it takes multiple bullets to take a human down unless you get a headshot and good luck with that.

The game also emphasizes stealth and that the fact that there is always different ways to go about different situations. All that is well and good but what about the game giving you an A.I. companion that runs around in tense situations? Thankfully Ellie doesn’t technically exist as she’ll give her position away but not make the enemies alert which is one of the smartest decisions made in game design but will inevitably make the games immersion break from time to time.

On top of all the greatness there is still room for a game that looks absolutely gorgeous. A perpetual sunset beams across the dilapidated buildings covered in luscious overgrowth and water effects that look like water and not bunches of paper Mache.

TLOU is a beautiful game that keeps its finger on the tension and applies more pressure as you explore the world in an effort to face past problems and create a more enjoyable future.

See you later!



Mass Effect(ive Ending) 3!

25 Mar


I usually go into big finales with a grain of salt but I’ve learned that when the game company Bioware needs to buckle down and deliver they won’t disappoint. Not only did I believe that this was this a satisfying ending to the story of Commander Shepard it also exceeded my expectations in terms of both gameplay and story and lent itself to some legitimately tear jerking moments. This game tells the final chapter in the most intriguing way by starting you as an out of commission officer under house arrest and the threat of the reapers, a race of ancient super intelligent machines whose sole purpose in life is to wipe out not only humanity but anything else with a pulse. Earth is under siege in the beginning and an entire army of unstoppable reapers are sucker punching every planet that they can get their robotic tentacles on. It’s up to you, a gang of friendly acquaintances and your bare influence to gain the trust and assistance of every species in the galaxy, of course with the current circumstances they don’t have much choice, but fortunately you do.

Main draws to the game would be its solid third person shooting implementing a user friendly weapons managing system. Strategic RPG orientation which allows you and each squad member you acquire from the story each with their various skills and techniques to customize to your liking. More importantly the dialogue system which moves the plot along with your influence being how you the player choose to respond either as a Paragon (positively) or Renegade (negatively) to a question or situation in the form. Throughout the game you come across dozens of small debates that you can choose to influence, making the game feel that more organic and real.

This series has been famous for engaging its players with its superb writing and abstract character interactions that make you feel legitimately invested in your relationships with every person or alien you run into. Stories that follow the, “choose your own path” execution usually fail to invest their audience either by giving them too much freedom, or not enough. Fortunately the Mass Effect games give players enough freedom to guide the story whilst keeping it grounded in its own original story. . This game does suffer from the hype and expectation that leads to the fans heartbreak but should not be looked at as game made just for fans, or at least people who’ve played the last two games. That being said this is a trilogy and should be enjoyed as such, this game could be an introduction but people will have an infinitely more rewarding experience if you had played the first two and with a story this large it deserves your full attention.

While this game has faults in certain executions, and the ending that is less than satisfactory can lead to a lot of people’s disappointment. It’s used in a way that can be seen as satisfying but nonetheless the game also looks as though it’s going the route of, “satisfying everyone” but sticks to its guns in originality until the end, and in my opinion it’s the journey not the destination.